The Oba of Lagos, His Royal Majesty, Oba Rilwan Akiolu has been accused of adeliberate plot to distort the Yoruba history for parochial and egocentric ends.
The Lagos youths under the auspices of Awori Progressive Youths Movement, (APYM) in a statement on Wednesday accused the Oba of making unfounded statements aimed at rewriting unblemished history of the Yoruba people.
“We are shocked at the utterances attributed to the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiola and his protégés who have embarked on a conscious war of attrition against other prominent traditional rulers in Yorubaland under the guise of speaking for the people of Lagos. Oba Akiola has come out as the worst thing that has ever happened to Lagos and this is very unfortunate” the statement signed by Abiodun Eniola stated. A copy was made available to Irohinoodua. The group accused the Oba of having ‘very little education and short in royal manners.”
The group described as ‘bare-faced lies and a fallacy’ claims by the Oba of Lagos that Awori migrated from Bini. “This is a very shameful lie. It shows clearly lack of knowledge, lack of wisdom and a complete disgrace to the royal stool that appears being occupied by someone who completely lacks a knowledge of history.”
Eniola said the Awori are Yoruba people who migrated from Ile-Ife and were the first to settle in the territory referred to as Lagos today. He said there is a small piece of land referred to as Eko but that this small piece of land does not represent the entire Lagos, the place being less than 0.1 percent of the Lagos land mass. “If the current Oba of Lagos thinks he is not a Yoruba man, he is free to go back to where he comes from and leave but he cannot take Lagos away.
He said the Awori people migrated from Ile Ife in 10th century, and occupy present day Lagos state, with a considerable section of the Awori clan occupying areas within Ogun State as a direct fall out of the creation of Ogun State in 1976. Towns including Isheri, Ota, Igbesa, Ilobi, Tigbo are all Awori settlements within today’s Ogun State in Nigeria.
The settlement of the Awori clan preceded the establishment of Abeokuta as an Egba kingdom in 1832, as Isheri, the foremost Awori town within present day Ogun State was settled in the 15th century. The Awori are direct descendants of Olofin, one of the sons of Oduduwa – the father of the Yoruba nation.
As such, in accordance with Yoruba custom, they brought their crown along with them from Ile Ife. Osolo, one of the sons of Prince Olofin, settled at the Osi quarters as his father and his brother journeyed further south from the place where the plate sank at Idumota. The first crowned Oba at Ota was Oba Akinsewa Ogbolu in 1621, he was the son of Osolo.
He said there was no presence of Bini in Lagos territory until 400 years after the Awori has established Lagos and ruled over it. He said the Bini angle only came with the coming of Oba Ado, a Prince from Bini He said it was the Awori that received Ado and that it was based on the believe that he was also a son of the Oduduwa that he was allowed to be King in one of the lands in Lagos Island. He said the Oba of Benin later sent some of his chiefs, including the Eletu Odibo, Obanikoro and others, to assist Ado in the running of Eko. He said over the years, the identity of the Bini has been assimilated into the greater Yoruba culture the way the Majesty of England that came from Hanover in Germany have been assimilated by the English.
The Awori youths said the Oba has ‘messed up’ the royal stool of Lagos accusing him of ‘constantly on ego trip.” He said is disturbed that he had no place in the hierarchy of Kings either in Yorubaland or in Nigeria accusing the Oba for promoting ‘primitive rivalry between himself and the Ooni of Ile-Ife and the Alaafin of Oyo. But we want to assure the people of Lagos that Lagos has produced several Kings and this dark stage, the worst in history will certainly not last for ever. He said if the Oba of Lagos continues this way, future Yoruba leaders will be left with little option than to abolish the Lagos throne or ensure a certain set of backward people never get there.